James Cameron promises we'll see more machines in Avatar 2

The sequel to one of the most successful films in history has been a long time coming, but in an exclusive interview, James Cameron gives us a few hints about what to expect.

Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens
2 min read

James Cameron is a car guy. You need only watch one of his films to see. Whether it be the iconic APC in Aliens or the endless string of machines that come to dramatic but untimely ends in the Terminator films, Cameron always seems to find the perfect vehicle for the perfect shot.

Avatar, the 2009 film that has grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide so far, was a bit of an outlier in that it hardly featured any vehicles of a mechanical variety. But, in an interview ahead of the Mercedes-Benz event at this year's CES in Las Vegas, Cameron told us that we should expect to see quite a few more in its upcoming sequel.

While Cameron of course is a fan of all things organic, including the world of Pandora and its various natural means of transportation -- like the six-legged direhorse or the flying banshees -- he told me he's bringing out more of the mechanical in the next Avatar films. "I also love the hard stuff. The vehicles, spacecraft, aircraft, ground vehicles, weapons, the hardware. I'm a total geek when it comes to that stuff."

In the next Avatar, Cameron says we'll see a lot more of what goes on above and below the sea. The result? A lot of boats and submarines will feature -- plus, presumably, an ocean's worth of aquatic creatures, too. "We have a lot of cool vehicles for you," Cameron said.

But I couldn't just talk about Avatar, or the outrageous, organic Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR concept he's here to promote, either. Cameron is passionate about environmental causes, saying: "Everything I'm doing right now, including the Avatar films and all my other investments and activities, are all around sustainability. And I don't mean token sustainability, I mean long-term sustainability."

But, I happen to know he's also passionate about Corvettes. His thoughts on the new mid-engined C8? "I think it's kind of in a way overdue," he said, but he certainly still sees the charm: "There's something kind of innately about that big engine and that long nose."

And what about his favorite sci-fi cars from other directors? "I always liked the Spinner from Blade Runner, and this car kind of reminds me a little bit of that."

The Vision AVTR won't fly like Deckard's ride, but it does have a lot of unique tricks, like a battery pack that's not only free of heavy metals, but is entirely compostable. Yes, that sounds a bit fanciful right now, but it's a good indicator of the kind of technology Mercedes-Benz wants to bring to the road, and the sorts of thinking that might just save our own Pandora for generations to come.

Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR is Pandora on four wheels

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